clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Mixology Madness: Please. Make. It. Stop.

New, 8 comments

Jelly shots from Bar Nineteen12 at Beverly Hills Hotel

We've been wanting to call a moratorium on mixology for awhile now. Not because we don't appreciate a fine hand-crafted cocktail using seasonal fruits (and maybe vegetables), artisanal spirits, homemade bitters and such; really, we love that. No, we wanted to call a moratorium before it all just got out of hand. We're afraid it's already too late. Not every bartender is a mixologist, no matter how much he or she thinks so. We've tasted far too many cocktails where some novice tried to keep up with the Joneses but has absolutely no clue how to mix a proper drink, and after one sip of some sickly sweet concoction, we've perfected the art of politely setting it down and asking for a dry martini up, extra olives please, thanks. Friends, it's time.

This whole mixology thing has passed the point of no return. According to Forbes, everyone wants to be the Ferran Adria of the bar it seems: Welcome to the world of molecular mixology. At a bar in Seattle, the drinks aren't "rocket science," but really a pain in the ass:

His Kentucky Monk shot requires a bartender to concoct beer-flavored syrup; foam from gelatin, egg white and lemon juice; and dust from Amaro Nonino herb liquor, made by evaporating the liquor on a sterile metal surface, scraping off the remains, and grinding them in a mortar and pestle...And those are just the garnishes.
Yes, that Amaro dust really ties it all together, doesn't it? Here in LA, drinks veer toward fancy at Comme Ca, S Bar and the Katsuyas, and Cedd Moses' Doheny. Bar Nineteen12 at the Beverly Hills Hotel is known for it's jello shots and boozy popsicles, and here's a list of crazy blueberry cocktails. We're not saying we haven't tasted some great cocktails at any of these bars and lounges, but it's the places trying to mimmick those places that ruined it. Just as we appreciate the wonderful world of molecular gastronomy, we still can't help but roll our eyes just a bit. Cocktails now parallel the world of cooking. On one hand, there's this interest in using gelatins, foams, chemical reactions to create something that barely resembles the thing we're eating and drinking. On the other, there's a push to simple and refined, the basics highlighted in such a way that even a potato tastes more like a real potato, a fine scotch (with special ice cubes, even) tastes like scotch. We'll take the latter. Moratorium in effect...now.
· Molecular Mixology [~ELA~]

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Los Angeles newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world